Category Archives: UESF News


UESF Membership Meeting
Thursday, August 14th

Washington HS – Main Auditorium
600 32nd Ave.
4:30-8:30 p.m.
Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

RSVP here

Once again UESF members are called upon to take a stand for our students, our profession, and our schools. At the UESF General Membership meeting on August 14th we may consider the first of two strike votes. We need everyone to be there to send a collective message to the district that we stand together behind the UESF Bargaining Team.

In contract negotiations with the SFUSD we ask only for wages that enable us to live in the communities we serve, respect for paraprofessionals, and full support for our jobs so that we can continue to provide the children of San Francisco the quality education they deserve.

With substantial resources now flowing into the district, it is time to prioritize the work in the classroom and at the schools, and to invest in the people who do the work.

The UESF Bargaining Team will enter mediation with the SFUSD on July 23rd. Though we are committed to a settlement with the district, too many educators are getting forced from our communities, and we must hold firm on a contract that will enable us to do the most important job in the city.

You can do your part submitting your RSVP for the meeting, and then recruiting your colleagues to do the same.

For more on UESF contract negotiations, click here.

Organizing Drive Launches Monday, July 21st

Volunteer here

With generous support form the CTA, UESF has developed a robust organizing drive for a successful membership meeting on August 14th. Starting Monday, July 21st, and running through the membership meeting we will conduct member-to-member outreach at daily phonebanks at the UESF office from 2:00-5:00 p.m. (meals included)

The strength of UESF has always been the willingness of the teachers, paras, and other school workers to stand together in times of need.

Please volunteer for one or more of these phonebanks, and other volunteer opportunities, and ask your colleagues to do the same. Better yet, make a school-wide day.

Volunteer here.

Two Part-Time UESF Area Representative Positions Now Open

UESF is looking to hire two new Area Representatives for next school year. Area Representatives works with the UESF Communications Director and with UESF Staff Representatives to promote the interests of the union at school sites, in the district, and citywide.

The part-time position (20 hours per month) pays $25 per hour and is perfect for recent retirees who served as Building Reps or on Union Building Committees, or current members who are ready to take the next step in their activism. Area Reps are an essential part of UESF organizing efforts, helping to organize UBCs and to lead UESF campaigns.

Contact Communications Director Matthew Hardy at 956-8373 or mhardy [at] uesf [dot] org for more information. No formal resume is required, however, applicants will be asked to list their relevant union, volunteer, and organizing experience and to interview for the position.

Interviews will take place between July 16-18. Positions will be filled by August 1, 2014. For a complete job description click here.

Learn Hidden History and Earn CEUs in Popular Labor History Course at CCSF

Gwendoly Byfield, picket captain at Kahn’s Department Store, during the Oakland General Strike of 1946.

California Labor History
Wednesday evenings, 6:30 p.m.
Starts August 18, 2014
CCSF Mission Campus
*All UESF members who complete the course will have their fees reimbursed by the union.

Details here.

In California Labor History, a three unit CCSF course starting August 18th, you can learn that the fight for a more equitable society stretches back to the Mission era. The course also places UESF’s parent organizations, the NEA and AFT, in historical context, and contemporary union struggles and issues within the broader stream of labor history. Highly recommended by the dozens of UESF members who have taken the course!

Vergara Verdict Flawed, Like Lawsuit Itself

On June 10th, in a move being hailed by corporate education ‘reformers’ and Arne Duncan, a Southern California judge delivered a deeply troubling ruling on the Vergara lawsuit.

CTA, CFT, and the state of California have already vowed to appeal the verdict, which would strip teachers of seniority and due process rights while doing nothing to increase funding or services for students.

Watch UESF President Dennis Kelly set the record straight on the misguided Vergara ruling in this segment, which ran live on Sunday, June 15th on CBS 5.


Also, don’t miss this powerful critique of the ruling by Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times, and this analysis by former UESF Executive Vice-President Linda Plack.

Dennis Kelly also speaks out against the ruling in this KTVU piece below…

Thanks to all who volunteered for the June 3rd election!

UESF paraprofessional leaders Cathy O’Byrne-Shewchuck and Tom Harriman were part of the solid crew of UESF members who volunteered for the David Campos for Assembly campaign.


Thanks to all who took the time to vote and volunteer in the June 3rd election. With so much money being poured into the election by those who seek to undermine our public school system and our profession, it was old-fashioned volunteer work that proved so important in the election. Find out from Steve Smith from the California Labor Federation why the June 3rd election was such a big win for working people.

May 27th March & Rally at the Board of Education

Thanks to all for a great rally on May 27th!

Thanks to the hundreds of UESF members and supporters who came out to the Board of Education meeting on May 27th to rally in support of keeping teachers and paras in San Francisco.

Special thanks to the Brass Liberation Orchestra for bringing such wonderful music to the demonstration and Supervisor David Campos for lending his support.

Let’s hope the SFUSD understands just how dire the situation is getting for educators who are getting priced out of our city.

Check out some of the media we received from the demonstration:

CBS 5: Teachers Being Priced Out Of San Francisco’s Booming Real Estate Market. Featuring Cristina Fiori from New Traditions Elementary who is regrettably leaving the SFUSD because of the high cost of living.


KRON 4: VIDEO: Teachers Rally for Better Wages. Burton HS teacher Brendan Furey gives a great example of why it is so important that educators live in the city they work.

Check Out our Facebook Photo Album of UESF T-Shirt Days

Thanks to all of the UESF members who are regularly holding t-shirt days at your school sites in support of the UESF contract campaign.

Check out our photo album up on the UESF Facebook page.

Don’t see you’re your school photo up there? Email photos to UESF Communications Director Matthew Hardy at mhardy [at] uesf [dot] org.

UESF Bargaining Team Proposes 21% Raise Over Next 3 Years

Fairmount Elementary Teacher Claudia Tirado is one of the many educators being forced to consider leaving San Francisco. Claudia and her family face eviction and despite a 10 year career in the SFUSD, she may be forced to leave the city because she can no longer afford the rent.

At the negotiating table on Aprll 17th, the UESF Bargaining Team proposed a 21% raise, to be phased in at 7% over each of the next three years. The proposal comes as the SFUSD is set to receive substantial additional resources in the coming years as a result of the passage of Prop. 30 and the rebounding state economy.

According to UESF President Dennis Kelly, the salary proposal also comes at a critical time for teachers and paras in the SFUSD. “San Francisco is rapidly becoming unaffordable to our public school educators, and too many are being forced out of our city and our school district because of skyrocketing rents,” says Kelly. “When educators can no longer afford to live in our neighborhoods and in our communities, it not only hurts our students, but their families, and the city as a whole. Our wage proposal will give teachers and paras a fighting chance to stay in the city they love.”

The UESF proposal is based on the most recent financial data provided by the SFUSD and budget projections made by the California Department of Finance. Using these estimates, the SFUSD is projected to receive an additional $89 million in Unrestricted General Funds by the 2016-2017 school year.

At the bargaining table today the UESF team also proposed additional district support to cover healthcare costs for UESF members who choose to have a family. The goal is to bring healthcare coverage for families more in line with what other public servants who work in San Francisco receive, including many other workers in the SFUSD.

Finally, in an effort to help professionalize the work that paraprofessionals do, the UESF Bargaining Team today proposed to increase the number of steps on the salary schedule to a total of eight , and to add longevity bonuses for paras who have been in the district for 15, 20, and 25 years.

“Paraprofessionals come straight out of our communities, and we work with many of our most vulnerable students, ” says UESF Vice-President for Paraprofessionals Carolyn Samoa. “Yet for years paras have been given only part-time jobs and a low salary. Now is the time for the district to show respect for paras, and for the students we serve.”

Consult the UESF contract negotiations web page for the latest updates & information on UESF/SFUSD contract talks.